Welcome to AdminForum @yesjerryer :)
I agree, without SEO the website is just collecting dust with no one coming to see your content. I do hear that google offers a free Digital Marketing course that comes with its own certification, have you considered that as well? I know a few online courses...
I guess that is one way to see test out the ads on your site too, specially for a website starting out you can never really figure what type of traffic you can expect.
I know you said that your sites are mostly hobby based but is there any chance that you would set up ads if worse comes to worst?
Woah that sounds like a pretty good contest, you definitely will attract a lot of forums operators and admins who will try their best to grab the XenForo license, :) Good luck! You should let us know how it goes and share your experience here on AdminForum for other admins to know what obstacles...
I do agree with that, once a member builds up a bit of reputation throughout the forums then posting spam once in a while is fine as long as it is not over done. But when members join just for the sake of posting spam, that's a huge no-no.
Love your forum you got going! A huge fan of Discussion Hub :)
Wish you all the best for your forum, :) Love the classic touches you got going like colored usernames and user banners, ☺️ Really does make it feel nostalgic.
I do understand that as well, most website projects I run are hobbies too, and I don't really aim to make money from it. There are some websites which I am working on which are intended to make money for me.
So you would put up ads as soon as you launch the website? Even when there isn't much...